In Photoshop 7, but easily translatable.
(There are larger images, so if you have a screen with a smaller resolution, beware.)
As requested by princess_ella89
Just as a warning, most, if not all of my icons come from fiddling in Photoshop. I don't have any specific techniques that I use, so if I'm horrible at writing tutorials, I apologize.
Before You Start Iconing: Choosing an Image
This style of icon only works (or looks good) with specific types of images. Here's a quick breakdown of what's good, and what's not so good:
- The image should have a definite start and end point. (The top and bottom are not awkwardly out of frame)
- The image should not be cut off on the sides
- The image should be relatively good quality. It doesn't have to be, but if you'd like to retain your sanity, I recommend it.
I decided to go with the image of Katharine pointing to her left. Now on to the next steps.
Creating The Icon: Step 1, Cutting Out The Picture
i) Paste your image on a new layer on a new image in Photoshop.
ii) Using either the eraser or lasso tool, carefully trace around the figure on all sides, eliminating the background. (I usually use the lasso tool in the large areas first, then use the default round eraser and get as close to the figure as possible. I then go back and use the lasso again in the places I could not reach with the eraser.) It comes in handy to magnify the image 200%-300% during this step.
(Don't worry if the the image isn't cut out perfectly, remember, it will be resized.)
Creating The Icon: Step 2, Preparing The Base
i) Resize the image! (I usually resize to about 85px in height, but in this case, I did 80px) Now set it aside.
ii) Open a new 100x100 image.
iii) Flood fill it with a bright colour, complementary to the image.
iv) Set this texture on screen, then duplicate the layer. ( From Here)
v) Set this texture on multiply, 100%. (Again, not sure)
(This is why I chose a bright colour, :D)
Creating The Icon: Step 3, Putting it Together
i) Copy the figure you've cut out and resized and layer it on the new prepared base. Place it wherever you'd like.
ii) Duplicate the image, desaturate (Shift Ctrl U) and set to soft light. Duplicate this layer once again if you'd like.
iii) Duplicate one of your desaturated, soft lighted layers and drag it underneath the main image. Leave the blend mode on soft light and place wherever you'd like.
iv) Repeat step iii if you'd like, as many times as you'd like. Fiddling with the opacity always adds something special. You may also want to erase the sharp end on these layers.
Now we're ready for the extras.
Creating The Icon: Step 4, Adding Extras
-- This is where you're creative! Add any brushes, textures, patterns, etc. that you'd like. The instructions following are the extras I added to this icon.
i) Open a pattern that matches well with your icon (I used a pattern from SwearToShakeItUp on Deviant Art. toybirds also has some patterns available for download.)
ii) Using the lasso tool, or the shape selection tools, select the piece of the pattern that you'd like to use and paste it onto the image. (I use the elliptical marquee tool)
iii) Using the default brush tool, I stamped some small circles in a circle pattern around the pattern I pasted onto the icon (Say that 10 times fast!) I also found that I needed to move the layers around to balance the icon a little better, so I merged some of the layers and moved them. ^_^
iv) Lastly, I added a brush between the base layers and the image layers. (Brush by [Bad username: springfly)]
The only thing to do now is save and share! Enjoy and please, if you do use, show me the results! =D
Other icons made using this technique: